By Adam Ganucheau/NEMS Daily Journal
The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Nu Upsilon chapter at the University of Mississippi stepped its way to national honors this past weekend.
The group participated in the National Collegiate Step Show at the fraternity’s 92nd annual General Convention in Austin, Texas, and brought home the national championship.
This was the chapter’s first time to advance to the national competition, which showcased the fraternity’s top four best step show teams.
“We were all shocked and excited when we found out we won,” Nu Upsilon chapter president and step show team member Odie Johnson III of Tupelo said. “We all rushed to the stage when they called our names, but we still couldn’t believe that we were crowned national champions.”
Months of hard work and practice went into the national championship, according to step show captain Alex Isom of Hernando. To qualify for the national competition, members of the fraternity had to win the district competition, which consisted of all Mississippi chapters of the fraternity. The Ole Miss chapter then moved on to represent Mississippi at the regional competition and advanced to the national competition with three other chapters.
“We started this show last September as kind of a cool thing for friends on campus,” Isom said. “We got such a good response from it, we used it for the district competition and we had the same show until we won this past weekend.”
In addition to the step show championship, the Nu Upsilon chapter and Ole Miss student Abdul Hamid won the College Brother GPA award, which is given to the fraternity’s student with the highest GPA in the country.
“The fact that all this happened in the 35th year is a really big deal for the chapter,” Nu Upsilon chapter adviser Kenny Rogers said.
Johnson said the chapter will enter the district step show competition again next year with hopes to get back to the national championship.